Tag Archives: growth

The Right Perspective!

 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”  -John 14:1-3

BELIEVE!  Life is tough and it is going to throw you curve balls.  In fact, life will throw you a knuckle ball right upside the nose every now and then.  On the best days, it’s not easy, but it is possible to live a blessed life and a blessed life makes all the difference.  You have access to control how you take it and what you do with it.  Jesus said:  “Let not your heart be troubled!” indicating that we make the choice.  Sometimes, you just have to grab hold of your emotions and let them know who the real boss is.  The best way to do this is by fighting your fear with faith.  Jesus said:  “Believe in God, believe also in me!” and if your really believe, then this is a “game changer!”  No matter what you are going through, remember:  Don’t Panic – God’s got this!

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE!  After we get our belief fixed, we then need to focus on changing our perspective.  We do this, by moving from the finite limited time and space of this moment to the infinite, unlimited time and space of eternity.  Whatever you are facing right now, ask yourself this question:  “What’s the worse thing that can happen?”  Ask this question enough times and you are probably going to come up with the answer:  Death!  Well, death is no big deal for Believer!  Jesus moved from a present perspective to an eternal perspective when he said:  “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places and I go to prepare a place for you!”

Next time you find yourself fretting over something, ask yourself this question:  “What is this going to matter 100 years from now?”

The Scriptures teach us in Philippians 1:21 that to live is Christ and to die is gain!  This physical body is simply my “FLESH SUIT!”  One of these days when this body dies, I am going to take off this flesh suit and then I will really fly!  Death is not a big deal, because it is just me separating from this body and the 70, 80 0 r 90 years, which are a small blip on the radar screen compared to ETERNITY!

The enemy wants to put blinders on you, so that all you can see is your problem, challenge or frustration, but don’t fall for the trick!  The enemy wants you to lose and forget about your eternal perspective, but don’t you dare trade in the good stuff of your Creator!  Use your memory and look back at all the times that you thought your ship was sunk, but the blessings came through and you can say with the Psalmist in 103:  “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not none of his benefits!”

Now this is living blessed and it is what you were created for – get you some of that and live blessed!

 

Too Much Noise!

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One of the great challenges of living in today’s world is learning to deal with all of the noise.  When I say learning to deal with it, I am talking about learning to get past it, so that we might be able to hear what is really important and needed.  I really do think that most of us are living with information overload.  We get media input from so many different sources and ideas and opinions from so many competing directions, that we have gotten used to living in a continual spin.

Some days I wake up from my noisy dreams to an even more noisy world and I know that I am missing something, but just can’t seem to figure it out.  Then I realize that I am never going to figure it out with all of the noise, so I begin to try to filter some of the noise away.  This seems to work for a moment, but then, I realize that I still am not anywhere near to what I am really searching for, so I go in search of quietness.  It is not near as easy as it used to be to find solitude.

Solitude is the place where we step out of the noisy world and into the peaceful relationship that we were created for.  It is the best place to listen and learn from our Creator.  It is the place where we figure out what life is really all about.  The journey to solitude is not easy and it will cost you, but it is a trip worth taking.  In fact, once you take this trip, you will want to take it again and again, because you will discover that solitude is the place that enables you to live blessed!

Seven Steps To Experience Divine Repair!

Here are the seven steps that we each need to take, so that the Spirit can begin the process of “Divine Repair” upon our lives…

1.) Face Your Problem!  We all have problems,  Figure out what your problem is and then face it.  This is the first and most important step.  Stop pretending that you don’t have any problems.  Once you face your problems, you will begin to see what you need to do about it, now do it!

2.) Accept Responsibility!  While there may be others that contributed to the problems that you are facing, it is still your problem and you must bear the responsibility.  This is not necessarily easy, but it is right.  If things are going to be better, then it is because you have decided they are going to be better.

3.)  Ask Yourself If You Really Want Healing?  They say “misery loves company” and I guess that this is true for a great many people.  But why be miserable, when you can be happy, strong and fulfilled?  You have to decide if you really want to be happy and if you do, then you have to go all in and go for it!

4.) Forgive Yourself!  Stop beating yourself up with the same club over and over again. We all make mistakes and we all screw up at this thing called life.  If we learn from our screw ups, then they are not screw ups, they are education.  So you messed up, learn from it, let it go and move on.

5.) Forgive Others!  You can live in the prison of unforgiveness or you can live in the freedom of holding no grudges, it is up to you.  Just know this:  If you stay imprisoned, it is because you have made the choice to not claim your freedom by withholding forgiveness that sets everyone free.

6.) Ask For The Spirit’s Help!  You are not supposed to do this alone, because you can’t do this alone, so ask the Spirit to help you.  The Spirit will speak to you, guide you and grow you to a place that you cannot take yourself.  You need the Spirits help!

7.) Don’t Give Up!  If it was easy, then everyone would do it.  It’s not easy, but it is possible and with the possibility comes a new and better life.  Step out in faith and claim your better and blessed life today, you will be glad you did!

The Place Of Contentment!

We tend to focus our energy on outward pleasure and the satisfaction of our senses at the expense of vision and the inner work of our lives.  The sad reality is that this produces a life of illusions, where appearances leave us empty and wanting more.  The wise writer of Ecclesiastes teaches us that “Everything comes and goes, there is nothing new under the sun.”  

The material world can only bring temporary satisfaction, because the stuff of the temporary world is – temporary.  When all we see, taste, touch, hear and smell is of the material world, we limit ourselves to only what exists in this world and cause ourselves to miss out on the vast blessings that exist in the spiritual world.  We often so focus on the creation, that we fail to know and appreciate the Creator.

The biggest problem with our trying to satisfy our senses is that our focus becomes the chase and attainment of that which is limited and temporary.  We get locked into a game of continuously striving, because there never seems to be enough.  We all know what it is like to live in this place of craziness, but most of us, are not willing to do life differently.  We keep doing the same things, making the same mistakes and expecting different or better results and that is just plain insane!  
 
Peace and inner satisfaction come from within.  Jesus teaches us to be in the world, but not of the world.  My satisfaction does not come from this world, because this is not my home, I am simply a spiritual being passing through a human experience.  When we learn to live life from the inside, then there is not much that is required from the outside for our happiness and peace,
 
We need to learn to look and see beyond the here and now.  We know that a flower is much more than just a flower.  It is even more than what our senses tell us it is.  It is more than color, taste, feel, smell and sound.  It is creation unfolding in a different way, unique and beautiful.  Evidence of something greater, someone with a greater plan.  It is in front of you for you to enjoy and be blessed by and when it ceases to be, there will be something else, but you don’t have to go out and find it, because it will find you.
 
Learn to relax.  Enjoy the gift of this moment.  Instead of being consumed by a focus on the search for what you can find outside of yourself, instead take some time to journey inward and discover awe, wonder, excitement and appreciation for the things that make your senses alive to appreciate and enjoy the gifts of the outside, physical, material world.
 
Allow life to flow in the natural order of “come and go” and avoid getting caught up in the tyranny of the urgent.  This moment is a seed, plant it, cultivate it, observe it from the inside out and you will enjoy it’s growth for ages to come.  You are a seed, your Creator has planted you, is cultivating you, observing you from the inside out and enjoying your growth.  When you get that you are created in the image of the Creator, then you will discover a power that allows you to live from the inside out and this is a big part of what it means to live blessed.

When Empty Living Is Not A Bad Thing!

When I am driving down the road and I hear that little bell go off to remind me that my gas tank is on empty, I know that I have to do something about it, and so I head to the gas station to put gas in, so that I can get rid of the “E”.   When I have not had a chance to eat, my stomach will begin to growl and remind me that it is empty, and I will look for something to eat, so that I might fill that void.

We have been taught that when something is empty, we need to fill it. We walk into a room that has nothing in it and almost immediately our mind goes to the place of filling it with this and that.  I think all of this focus on filling, causes us to miss the value of emptiness.  Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching gives us the idea that “The usefulness of what is, depends on what is not.”  In everything, there is an emptiness, a missing something, but that missing something is something, not nothing and this is the challenge of our thinking.

Our lives are full of work and living, but that is not what really makes our lives meaningful.  It is often the spaces of our life that we perceive as empty that actually give us meaning and purpose.  Since all of life around us seems to work by filling the empty void with whatever, we spend most of our energy trying to fill things back up and miss the joy of the emptiness.

We try to fill our lives up with work, activities, events, hobbies and almost anything we can think of and the result is still a gnawing emptiness, a void that we just can’t seem to fill, at least in a way that brings us satisfaction.  This hole, void, emptiness is not a bad thing. In fact it has a purpose and it’s purpose is to help us to discover who we are and what we are about.  It’s purpose it to teach us that rather than spending all of our effort and energy on trying, that we should invest ourselves instead on simply allowing.  When we learn to allow what will be to be, we begin to enjoy the flow of life.

When you allow yourself to breathe. The breath comes in and it goes out, quiet naturally, until you decide to start messing with it. This is the best way to live life.  Rather than trying to force and make things happen, just allow yourself in your living to breathe.

Most people cannot stand silence. Why? Because it is emptiness.  Emptiness that we feel needs to be filled.  As soon as we get in our cars, we power up the radio.  As soon as we walk in the door of our home, we turn on our televisions.  When we have a moment to sit and do nothing, we are on our smart phones trying to fill the void.  And the result of all of this, is that we miss the power and blessing that the emptiness is there to bring.

At some point today, take a few moments to practice silence.  I try to spend at least 10 minustes everyday in silent meditation.  I try during this time, to go into that empty space and enjoy what my Creator has given me.  I have discovered that it is from this place that some of my most amazing and beneficial thoughts begin, grow and flow.

It is in this place that I meet the essence of who I am and as I learn to allow that essence to flow, the real me begins to reveal itself to the rest of the world.  Philippians 2:5-9 teaches us that this is what Jesus did when it says: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”

Let go of everything – who you are, what you do, where you go, how you think, when you’ve got to be finished and learn to exist in the empty space of this moment.  Appreciate this moment and the space of what it is allowing you and let it to do what it desires. You will be glad you did, because you will live blessed.

Learning Something New!

It is hard to learn something new, when you think you already know everything.  We hear and learn exactly what we want based on our very own values, beliefs, prejudices and personal history.  We wonder why we never grow and why we seem to be our own worst enemy?  A teachable spirit is an open invitation to a changed life.  A changed life is a growing life and and growing life gives glory to the Creator as it shares blessings with all around.  You Creator wants you to be happy and healthy, but allows you to make choices for yourself.  Life is about learning to make the right choices.

Do you really want to walk closer to your Creator?  Do you long to walk close, so that you may hear His chuckles and sighs.  Do you want to learn to see and experience the newness of life that only He can bring.  Do you know that you must let go of your old tired ways?   Do you know this is so hard to do, but not impossible?  To know His will, you must know Him, to know Him, you must let go of some things, so that you can grab hold of others.

We must learn to seek His face with an open heart and clear mind, knowing and trusting that as we journey forward with Him that He will bring about the transformation of our lives by the renewing of our minds.  The work that we need to have done in our lives, is not a work that we do, it is a work that we invite Him to do, by doing the work of faith that invites Him to come in and do His thing.

I challenge you to step away from the distractions and become totally focused on your Creator and the stuff of His creation.  He wants you to understand Him and as you seek to  understand Him and His ways, you will live according to the path that He has marked out for you.

Embrace Him and His will and be satisfied with nothing else and you will live blessed!

Sit Quietly!

When I was a little boy in primary school, my teachers after growing tired of hearing me talk would say:  “I bet you can sit there for one minute and be quiet!”  I knew I was giving them what they wanted, but I still had to prove that I could do it!  The truth:  Sitting quietly is a good thing, if we will learn to use the time wisely!

Learning to sit quietly in the presence of our Creator is one of the most difficult things that we can try to do in this noise filled and ultra busy world that we live in.  But just because it is difficult, does not mean that we should not try.  In fact, because it is difficult, should be all the more motivation to try.

When we sit quietly, it is a demonstration of trust.  It is our way of saying:  “I don’t have to do anything to try to fix things, because I trust that my Creator knows best.”  “I will sit in His presence and listen for His voice and then at His direction, I will do whatever He says.”

You may be thinking that you have so much to do and that you do not have time to sit in His presence.  In the New Testament, Martha had that same challenge and Jesus told her that Mary had chosen the better part.  Simply lay your “to do” list to the side and take a few moments to enjoy the presence of the One who created you and sustains you, so that you might keep living.

Do not worry about anything, but learn to trust Him in everything.  This is sacred time that strengthens and prepares you to face and deal with whatever may come your way.  Sitting still and quiet in His presence is action of a far greater power than anything that the flesh can manifest.  It is the action of faith which allows trust to grow strong, so that when you stand you can stand against whatever the world may try to bring against you.

Take some time today to sit in the presence of your Creator and you will discover how to live the life you were created for, you will discover how to live blessed!

Good Company!

One of the greatest blessings of living in this human experience, is that we get to spend time in the company of our Creator.  How amazing is it that we can know and be known by our Creator?  Through relationship with Him, we get to participate in the divine.  When we learn to live in the joy and power of this relationship, then we watch as gray skies turn to blue and the mundane takes on new significance.

A big part of our lives is the monotonous routine of doing the same things over and over again, day after day.  And for many, this becomes life.  When we live in relationship with our Creator, even the routine takes on purpose and meaning, and provides fulfillment through enlightenment!

The best place to focus my mind and energy is in the Spirit, where I get to travel with my Creator as a constant companion and friend.  He shows me things that I would never see on my own.  He gives me understanding that I could never discover in my own power and strength.  He guides me to places of blessing and miracles.

You can live in the presence of your Creator and have His presence walk with you through the struggles and blessings of this life and even the most challenging of days will open up as opportunities for enlightenment and learning.  This is a great miracle and should never be taken for granted!  Enjoy the relationship, appreciate it’s power and live blessed!

The Blank Canvas Of A Day!

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You Can Do This!

I love how a new day is almost like a clean slate, a blank canvas just waiting to have some brush strokes added.  At the beginning of the day, I am excited about the potential and possibilities that stretch out in front of me and then all of a sudden, I find myself in a hurry and the next thing I know I am halfway through the morning of my brand new day.  It does not take long for something to go wrong, not at all what I had planned and my beautiful blank canvas, rather than being a work of art, has turned into a big ole mess.

What do we do with days like this?  The truth is:  Most days are like this.  And on these messy days, there is really only one thing we can do.  We need to trust in our Creator, Who gave us our days to begin with.  Trusting in Him, allows us to be filled with peace that flows from some where deep within us.  This inner calm is a gift that assures us that regardless of what happens today, our Creator has a plan, because that is what Creator’s do.

You do not have to let a messy day distract you from the gift of peace that Your Creator has breathed into your life.  Don’t let what is going on around you in this world cause you to be shaken, because you are not of this world.  You, “who you really are”, your inner most being is rooted and established in Eternity.

When the stress of living begins to catch up with you, simply decide that you are going to use your supernatural power to detach yourself from these distractions.  Don’t waste your limited human energy on trying to maintain order and control of the chaos.  Instead, take a deep breath, relax and remember the peace of your Creator that resides within you.

Look within and see the face of love and open your mind to hear the things of the Spirit.  You will find that this enables you to see with more than physical eyes.  And with this spiritual insight, you will begin to see things from a high and holy perspective, which will further grow this great gift of peace.

When it is all said and done, you will look back at what used to be a blank canvas and discover that the Master has helped you to turn your day into a MASTERPIECE!

Just Like Dad!

I was talking with my oldest daughter Gracie on the way to school one day this past week and was amazed at how much she is just like me.  Her observations, horse sense, opinions and judgments.  There are some things that I see her do, or hear her say that rub me the wrong way, until I realize that those things are some of the same things that I continually find myself battling with.

I like to think that I am a good man, but the truth is that I am a sinner saved by grace.  My goodness is not from myself, but from my Creator, Savior and Friend.  Sometimes I find myself getting less tolerant of my family and friends, in what I perceive to be their challenges or weaknesses, but then the Spirit helps me to look within myself and I know that I have more than enough work to do on myself, so I am learning to let the other go.

I was created to love and be loved.  Judgment is above my pay grade and I am not really any good at it any way, so I will leave that to the Creator, Who sees all, knows all and is in control of all.

Father,  Thank You for reminding me that I am just a man, but I am not just any man, I am Your man.  Help me to grow into these big shoes that you have given me to fill and help me to walk on the path that you have marked out for me.  Along the way, as I encounter others, help me to love them as you have loved me – without condition.  Help me to help and bless others with no expectations.  Help me to remember that my service to others, is really my service to You.  Help me to love at all times, be patient in all situations and yielded to you in not just some things, but in everything.

I pray that one day, when You are looking at me as Your son, that You will see some of what makes You so great in me!